What my stuffed mailbox looks like. In reality, none of this was headed to… (David Goldman / Associated…)
Here’s my response to the U.S. Postal Service canceling Saturday mail service: What a relief.
Hey, I love the idea of getting wonderful things in the mail: big fat checks or torrid declarations of love (from someone I want to hear from). But the letter carrier doesn’t deliver those things anymore, for the most part. Money you’ve earned gets deposited directly into your bank account. Lovers text and call. The last exciting piece of mail I got was my W-2 form. That means I can start the process of getting my income tax refund -- which won’t come by mail but will be, yes, electronically deposited.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m so crass that I see mail only as a conduit for funds. Not at all. I also see it as an avenue for bills, fliers for bad Chinese restaurants, invitations to investment workshops I will never attend and Victoria’s Secret catalogs that I don’t want. So, Saturday is just one less day to be barraged with all that.
And unlike my colleague, Paul Whitefield, who wrote a lovely meditation on the thrill of letters arriving in a traditional mailbox perched on a post in the frontyard, my mail doesn’t come like that. I live in an apartment building with narrow little boxes in a lobby that isn’t on my route from the parking garage to the elevator. And because I don’t go out of my way to check the mail every day (see above), it quickly gets crammed with stuff. One time I went a week, maybe a couple of days longer, without checking the box. When the mail carrier couldn’t wedge anything else in, she took it all back to the local post office. Naturally, I was not happy about having to make that trip to stand in line to retrieve my pile of mostly junk mail. The helpful desk clerk suggested I check my mailbox in a more timely fashion.
I’m not saying the Postal Service should stop delivering mail altogether. I look forward to Lucky magazine (guilty pleasure), the crisp Bed Bath & Beyond coupons, my friends’ wry Christmas missives and photos of children grown impossibly into teenagers and young adults. Not to mention the packages from favorite online retailers that use mail delivery.
I just don’t need it six days a week. I’m good with five. Even four. U.S. Postal Service, take note.
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